Workshop Descriptions

All workshops are held at Ithaca College, Phillips Hall, Emerson Suites A
Cost: The fee is $25 per workshop, $60 for all three, or $15 per workshop for retired individuals.

* The registration fee will be refunded if the request is received in writing by the Gerontology Institute no later than two days prior to the workshop. No refunds will be given for cancellation received after this date; however, you may transfer your registration to another person.

Thursday, October 27

8:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Expressive Arts in Counseling Psychotherapy

Presenter: Lourdes Barche-Tabar, Ph.D.

This three hour presentation draws from theories of Humanistic, Existential, Jungian and expressive arts psychotherapies, especially theories from E. Dissanayake. The aim is to teach and practice how the use of expressive arts can be brought to the lives of elder populations. Individuals will engage in various modalities of expressive art forms. The presentation will be experiential and didactic. The experiential part will include practice with use of different expressive modalities, paying attention to elder care. 

The didactic portion will include:

  • Art as an intrinsic need for humans
    • Four forces behind human need for art-making:
      • belonging to a social group
      • finding and making meaning
      • gaining a sense of competence through the success in manual craftsmanship
      • rituals as a way of acknowledging the importance of the art
  • The Arts as Love
  • The Arts as Ritual
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
    • Embodied
      • invites engagement of the body, e.g. the act of creating (movement, rhythm, sound)
      • challenges  “disembodied” thinking and thus ungrounded wish fulfillment (client’s rigid fantasy)
    • Imaginal – uses metaphor
      • metaphor challenges concrete thinking
      • invites other perspectives, tolerance of paradox


Thursday, October 27

2:00 - 5:15 PM

Attachment-Focused Integrative Reminiscence (Life Writing): Theory, Methods, Skills, and Phenomenological Experience

Presenter: Myra Sabir, Ph.D., Binghamton University

Integrative reminiscence is a form of life review in which memories are recalled, examined, appraised, and resolved, and has been shown to generate a wide range of mental and physical health benefits.  It has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and perceived stress; to help resolve internal conflict, revise self-schemas, increase self-worth, disconfirm negative beliefs about the self; and to increase self-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-efficacy among other psychological health benefits. A substantial number of physical health benefits have also been attributed to integrative reminiscence including improved symptoms or arthritis, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease and faster recovery from cancer treatments. Social health benefits have included improved relationships, improved grades in college, and greater ease in gaining employment. Behavioral benefits (less smoking, drinking) have also been attributed to integrative reminiscence. This three-hour training session covers what has been labeled attachment-focused integrative reminiscence (AFIR), an integrative reminiscence approach based on prior research suggesting that integrating unfavorable attachment experiences might be primarily responsible for the psychological and physical health benefits consistently attributed to integrative reminiscence. The training session will place particular emphasis on reminiscence around attachment themes.  Teaching methods will include lecture, discussion, skills practice & development, and actual engagement with the AFIR process. Participants will leave with a firm grasp of AFIR theory and how it is applied; increased appreciation for the narrative principle in human service; enhanced skills for conducting AFIR interventions and narrative interventions in general; and a phenomenological sense of the immediate and lasting impact of AFIR.


Friday, October 28

8:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Skilled Listening and Writing for Story: From Reminiscence to Story-Work with Elders' Stories

Presenter: Terry Lee, Ph.D., Christopher Newport University

The three-hour, interactive workshop develops a theory and practice for valuing the stories of elders in institutional settings, suggesting that anyone with an interest in listening to elders’ stories can listen compassionately to and effectively record them in writing, audio, or video. “Story-work” begins with reminiscence but then moves in a different direction, not toward therapy, but toward a story that is shaped, is set down in writing (or voice recording or video), and is portable—something easily shared.

Objective 1: A knowledge and brief practice of two kinds of listening—skilled listening for story and compassionate listening. Listening in these ways helps one recognize elements of story, as well as affirm and validate the story-teller.

Objective 2: A knowledge of how to value an elder's reminiscence and how to turn it into a story that can be recorded to given to the elder and his or her family.

Objective 3: Practical advice for ways to listen for, record, and shape elders’ stories, ways to produce something as simple as a brief prose narrative or even a one-sentence prose “haiku,” that could play an important role, however small, in elders’ lives, whether preserved on paper, published on the Web, written in a notecard, or on a home-made refrigerator magnet. “Publishing” elders’ stories gives an inner reality confirmation in the outer world.